OSHP focused on safety belt enforcement

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2006

SOUTH POINT — Law enforcement officials have said for years that seat belts save lives. The troopers at the Ironton Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol plan to make seat belt usage a primary focus during the new year.

Lt. Michael Gore, commander of the Ironton Post, said during 2006 troopers will be patrolling problem areas where safety belt compliance is a problem and they will take a zero tolerance approach to the matter.

“Increasing the public’s commitment to safer driving habits, combined with focused safety belt enforcement efforts will help contribute to fewer tragedies on our roads,” Gore said. “Drivers insisting that their passengers buckle up is one of the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries to those we care about most.”

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Statewide, statistics show that 20 percent of all passenger car traffic deaths in Ohio are unbelted front seat passengers. Gore said troopers will make efforts to educate people about the need to make sure everyone in the car is buckled up before the car hits the road.

Throughout the year, troopers will also be looking for child safety seat violations. Ohio law requires children under the age of four and weighing 40 pounds of less to be in a child restraint. Unlike the state’s seat belt law, drivers can be pulled over if a law enforcement officer sees a child riding unrestrained in a vehicle.